Ever picked the brain of a nutrition scientist? Here’s 9 things you need to know about accredited dietician Tim Cassettari.
1. He done a lot of tertiary study.
“I did a double degree in Exercise & Sports Science and Nutrition Science [at The University of Sydney], with Honours in Clinical Dietetics. I then went back to university a few years after graduating and completed a Graduate Diploma in Coaching Psychology.”
2. He’s never eaten so many mushrooms in his life, as he has since starting his current gig!
“I work for Nutrition Research Australia, where I manage a range of nutrition projects – and at the moment I’m working on better understanding the nutritional and health benefits of mushrooms. I’ve definitely found myself eating a lot more mushrooms compared to when I started [laughs].”
3. He’s always got an exciting project – or two, three or four – on the go.
“The types of projects that I work on [at Nutrition Research Australia] include conducting nutrition research studies, writing scientific manuscripts, developing food claims that appear on food packaging, and educating doctors and dieticians about new developments in nutrition.”
4… and his office? It’s at home!
“Technology lets me have video meetings with any of my clients or team, no matter where they live. My colleagues live all throughout Australia!”
5. The research he’s doing is literally life-saving.
“Research tells us that lifestyle factors such as food, exercise and sleep can prevent up to 80 per cent of chronic diseases – like heart disease, diabetes and cancer – and that it can also be as effective for managing some mental illnesses as medication. It’s exciting to be a part of!”
6. … and he’s always looking to better his work.
“Nutrition science is always evolving and changing, but the core principles of healthy eating –eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains – has actually been around for a long time.
“The challenge lies in how we can better communicate these messages, so that they inspire people to change their behaviour. We can learn a lot from other professionals – like marketers and journalists – in how we get better at doing this.”
7. His role has some seriously major perks.
“I get to travel to scientific conferences, contribute to magazine articles and meet lots of inspiring people because of my work – the highlight was when I got to chat to Jamie Oliver!”
8. Oh, and he’s totally writing a book.
“I’m working on it in my spare time! I’m aiming to have it published by the end of next year.”
9. Things are changing in nutrition science, and it’s exciting!
“We are seeing a shift in how we support people in larger bodies! While previously we focused on prescribing weight loss, diets and calorie-counting; research is showing that approaches that encourages people to enjoy all foods and move towards body acceptance can be more effective and less harmful for their health and wellbeing.
“It’s an honour to be part of an important social change that’s benefiting a group of people who are often unfairly stigmatised!”
Tim’s study pathway
>> Bachelor of Exercise & Sports Science and Nutrition Science, The University of Sydney
>> Honours in Clinical Dietetics, The University of Sydney
>> Graduate diploma in coaching psychology, The University of Sydney
Keen to suss out more health science pathways? Check out a list of STEM + wellness careers here.
Author: Cassie Steel
As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.